Skills & Training

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce works with Suffolk businesses, further education colleges, the University of Suffolk, training providers and the public sector to provide the skills that businesses need to grow and create good employment opportunities. Below are a number of ways we are actively engaged in the skills agenda: 


Local Skills Improvement Plan

The region’s two leading business organisations have been handed a key role in helping to identify and support the delivery of the long-term skills needs of businesses.

Norfolk Chambers and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce have been designated as the ‘employer representative bodies’ to run the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) across the two counties.

LSIPs are a key initiative by the Department for Education and are designed to ensure a wider role for employers in achieving a balance between the demand for particular types of skills and the supply of courses from both FE colleges and private training providers. Click here to find out more about LSIPs on the main Norfolk Chambers page.

Skills Advice

Contact the New Anglia Growth Hub for advice on:

  • • Training for you and your workforce

    • Effective recruitment

    • Work experience placements and internships

    • Staff wellbeing

    • Skills development grants and funding

Kickstart Scheme

Kickstart was a national programme designed by the Department for Work & Pensions to provide six-month employment placements for 16-24s on Universal Credit to assist them in gaining the skills and experience they need to succeed in the future.

In Suffolk Kickstart was delivered by the Suffolk Chamber in partnership with Suffolk councils. There was a fantastic response from employers and our young people, with over 700 placements being made available. Our successful Kickstarters have impressed our businesses, with some 75% of employers retaining their Kickstarter and offering them a permanent role at the end of their six month placement.

Young Chamber

Young Chamber is a member offer for schools from the Accredited Chambers of Commerce in the UK. Its purpose is to bridge the gap between businesses and education. 

Young Chamber provides a range of different ways in which Chambers of Commerce can help schools and colleges tap into the knowledge, skills and experience that local businesses can provide students for them to succeed in the world of work.


Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is a strong supporter of Apprenticeships as a key way of introducing school and college-leavers to the world of work in a structured manner, combining on-the-job training and appropriate study opportunities.

Apprenticeships Suffolk aims to promote the growth of apprenticeships by supporting the engagement of all interested parties through information and guidance on subjects such as: funding, including the Apprenticeship Levy; finding the right training; how the 20% off the job works; guidance on End Point Assessment; understanding expectations and apprenticeships in general.

Whether you are an employer looking for impartial advice on how to access apprenticeships, an individual looking for an apprenticeship opportunity, a parent/carer, provider or school Apprenticeships Suffolk provides information and links to sites and documents, including FAQs, which should answer many of the questions you may have.

Shaping the Business Leaders of tomorrow

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has the unique privilege to be a nationally approved End Point Assessment organisation for Management Apprenticeships from supervisory to operational to senior leaders at levels three to seven.

What is end point assessment?

When an apprentice finishes their Management Apprenticeship it’s not the training provider who conducts the final assessment. It is now the employer’s choice as to who they choose to carry out this final independent assessment, which is the end point of the apprenticeship leading to the qualification.

You can choose the Chamber to conduct this crucial final stage of an apprentice’s journey and qualification.

To find out more please contact:

Suffolk Skills and Careers Festival

Suffolk Chamber is proud to be a strategic partner to the Suffolk Skills and Careers Festival.

The festival aims to inform and support young people in:

  • Meeting local and national employers

  • Making more informed decisions about their next stage of education and/or employment

  • Finding out more about the world of work and the broad range of opportunities available in Suffolk and beyond

In Suffolk we have some fantastic opportunities for employment across a range of burgeoning industry sectors. By bringing together employers, schools, colleges and training providers, the Suffolk Skills and Careers Festival offers young people the chance to work out which careers are of interest to them and match their strengths, then find out the best route to get the right skills for the job. Schools, Colleges and universities are invited to bring groups of students to the event, any age is welcome to 'drop in' from the age of 11+ entry to the event is free and schools and colleges can claim a subsidy towards transport, if eligible. Individuals are invited to ‘drop-in’ throughout the day - there's no need to pre-register!

The 2023 Suffolk Skills and Careers Festival will take place on Wednesday 11 October. For more information please contact:

Professional Qualifications and Awards for enterprises and those who support them

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is an Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs Academy (IOEE) and a Small Firms development initiative (SFEDI) approved Centre. This means we can deliver professional enterprise qualifications from levels one to seven.

It could be an entrepreneur needing the toolbox of knowledge to start a business or a support professional providing advice and guidance to help a business grow. The Chamber can provide recognition at the highest level or take you through a learning journey to achieve this status through SFEDI qualifications.

Recruit, Inspire, and Develop your Workforce

As a key partner, Suffolk County Council have a dedicated skills team working to promote businesses, inspire the next generation, and invest in skills and training to support the local and national economy.

Pathways Training Fund

Helping employees in the workplace acquire skills, knowledge and qualifications to keep learning and progressing.

Training is being offered to Norfolk and Suffolk SME businesses and trading social enterprises with under 250 employees in these ‘must have’ areas:

  • Digital Skills and Industry 4.0

  • Leadership, Management, Project Management and Mentoring

  • Customer Service and Client Relationship Management

  • Health, Well-being and Safety

  • Innovation training for new ideas, ways of working, products and services and Net Zero.

The Pathways Training Fund will fund up to 75% of the total staff training costs, with grants capped at £500 per employee and £3,000 per employer.

The Pathways Training Fund is funded by the European Social Fund and delivered by Suffolk County Council in partnership with Norfolk County Council.

Supply Chain Skills Development Fund

The SCSDF project supports local employers through a training grant, to subsidise the training they need in their workforces, to fully capitalise on supply chain opportunities and those resulting from large-scale infrastructure projects happening in the Norfolk and Suffolk area over the course of the year.

Benefit from grants between £500 - £5,000 (max £1,000 per employee and matched 50% by employer investment) for a wide range of training courses from colleges and training providers.

Contact: to register your interest

Supply Chain Skills Development Fund is funded by the European Social Fund and delivered by Suffolk County Council in partnership with Norfolk County Council.

New Anglia LEP - Skills Advisory Panel

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce works closely with New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in supporting its skills agenda. 

Creating jobs is a key priority for New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. Hand in hand with that objective is the need to have a highly skilled and motivated regional workforce. New Anglia LEP, through the New Anglia Skills Advisory Panel, brings together business, education, sector specialists, and policymakers to help steer the skills agenda in Norfolk and Suffolk and build on the good work being undertaken by all partners.